Holmberg earns praise, man-advantage Minten, Niemelä’s numbers: Leafs Prospect Roundup

Holmberg earns praise, man-advantage Minten, Niemelä’s numbers: Leafs Prospect Roundup

In last week’s Prospect Roundup, we took stock of a number of Leafs prospects and how they have performed through the first couple of months of the season. One of those players was Pontus Holmberg, focusing on his rapid ascension to becoming an NHL regular. Fast forward a week, and his case for staying put in the Leafs’ lineup has only gotten stronger.
Holmberg scored his first NHL goal in last Wednesday’s win over the scorching hot New Jersey Devils, a goal which stood as the game winner. He found the back of the net once again in Saturday’s victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins – a great shot into the top corner over the glove of Casey DeSmith – and established a new career-high with 12:01 of ice time.

GOALBERG. pic.twitter.com/rB4A9bGcdf
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 27, 2022

Holmberg now has two goals and an assist through his first eight NHL contests, but it is his play away from the puck that has really endeared him to head coach Sheldon Keefe. He was even trusted with a couple of shifts on the penalty kill this past week as he continues to grow into a regular role on the team.

Sheldon Keefe on the play of Pontus Holmberg, says as a rookie they always try to go through tape about what they can show players to improve …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Catching up with the prospect pool: Leafs Prospect Roundup

Holmberg earns praise, man-advantage Minten, Niemelä’s numbers: Leafs Prospect Roundup

Welcome to another edition of the Leafs Prospect Roundup here at The Leafs Nation! We’re going to do things a little differently this week, and rather than highlighting a handful of players in the system and their accomplishments over the past week, we’re going to do a rapid-fire round and bring you up to date on some of the bigger names in the Leafs’ prospect pool.
Let’s get to it.
Nick Robertson | W | Toronto (NHL)
Robertson was a star for the Marlies down the stretch last season after recovering from a broken leg suffered early on, finishing the season with 16 goals and 12 assists in just 28 games. He carried that into training camp for the Leafs and had a stellar preseason, ranking among the top scorers from the NHL’s exhibition schedule.
Due to cap restraints, he was sent back to the Marlies to begin the season but was quickly recalled when injuries to the main roster opened up salary cap space. He started with a bang, scoring two goals in his season debut – including the overtime winner – but it has been an up-and-down ride for Robertson since then. …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Robertson recalled, Peksa proving himself at the next level: Leafs Prospect Roundup

Holmberg earns praise, man-advantage Minten, Niemelä’s numbers: Leafs Prospect Roundup

I jumped the gun a little bit in last week’s edition of the Prospect Roundup, penciling Nick Robertson into a roster spot with the Leafs after his stellar preseason. The assumption was that John Tavares would have to miss a few games, forcing the Leafs to play a forward short in their opener before using an emergency recall on Robertson. Tavares, however, was cleared to return ahead of the season opener, and Robertson was with the Marlies to begin the season.
Now it appears another injury has cleared the way for Robertson to join the Leafs, with netminder Matt Murray placed on long-term injured reserve. While it is obviously a nightmare start to Murray’s Leafs tenure, there is a silver lining for the club. With Murray on LTIR, the Leafs have the flexibility to carry a 23-man roster, which now includes Robertson after he was recalled along with Wayne Simmonds and Victor Mete on Sunday.
After being relegated to the Marlies due to the Leafs’ cap crunch and the fact that he was exempt from waivers, Robertson appears primed to receive the opportunity he earned with his fantastic showing in the preseason.

Sheldon Keefe on Nick Robertson: “Nick deserved to make our team with the effort and performance that he had through camp, and the growth that he showed.”


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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #11 Ryan Tverberg

“Your favourite Toronto Maple Leafs prospect you don’t know about yet.”
That’s the tagline I led with each time I wrote about Ryan Tverberg in the 2021-22 season for our TLN Prospect Roundups, which occurred often given the success he had last year. Over the course of the 2021-22 season, Tverberg went from an intriguing late-round swing to a legit prospect in the system with his breakout campaign at the University of Connecticut.
One of the biggest risers year over year, Ryan Tverberg goes from not even landing as an honourable mention on the TLN Top 20 rankings in 2021 to knocking on the door of the top 10 this time around.
Ryan Tverberg
RW | UConn (H-East) | Age: 20 | 6-foot-0 | 190 lbs | Shoots: RAcquired: 2020 Draft, 213th Overall | 2021 Ranking: N/A
Way back on Day 2 of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, it appeared the Leafs were done following their 11th selection of the draft. It was a busy day for Toronto, moving up and down the draft board, but with 11 picks already made and no selections remaining for the team, it was more than fair to assume they were done at this point.
But Reid Mitchell, Director of Hockey and Scouting Operations for the Maple Leafs, had other plans. He was pushing hard for a player out o …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: The Goaltenders

The TLN prospect rankings are well underway, we’ve already knocked off our no votes, honourable mentions, and the first five prospects on our list. The thing you might remember from when we began this series is that we have purposely kept goaltenders out of it, as they are clearly their own thing. Rather than all of us trying to debate the value of a potential 20 game backup vs. potential bottom pairing defenseman vs. defensive specialist forward, we’re going to admit that it’s hard enough to compare goaltenders to each other let alone skaters.
So instead here are our top five affiliated goaltenders within the Leafs organization that aren’t established NHL goaltenders. So if you are looking for Matt Murray vs. Ilya Samsonov takes, you’ll have to check back likely in September. We do have goaltenders under contract with the Marlies on our list so, there’s that.
The one that thing really needs to be considered by everyone is that we have no idea what impact a goaltending coach change will make. With the exception of Dennis Hildeby, most of these goaltenders were brought in to work with Steve Briere and whether they are a fit for Curtis Sanford will be an interesting transition …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Nets “angling” for Raptors’ Scottie Barnes in Kevin Durant talks

Nets “angling” for Raptors’ Scottie Barnes in Kevin Durant talks

Even though the prospect of a Kevin Durant trade is looking less likely by the day, the Toronto Raptors are keeping their feelers extended. The sticking point in trade negotiations may end up being reigning Rookie of the Year and Raptors fan favorite Scottie Barnes, who has long been considered an immovable piece of the […]
Nets “angling” for Raptors’ Scottie Barnes in Kevin Durant talks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: The No Vote Club

The 2022 TLN prospect rankings officially began yesterday, as Jon Steitzer opened the festivities by looking at the players who graduated from last summer’s rankings. We aren’t at the top 20 just quite yet, though, as first, we need to take a brief look at each of the players who did not receive a single top 20 vote this year.
First, a reminder of the criteria to be eligible for this year’s rankings. To be considered a prospect in the TLN rankings, the player must be under the age of 24 and has to have played 41 or fewer games (no more than the equivalent of half a regular season.) It should also be clear the player has to be on the Maple Leafs reserve list. No players that are on AHL or ECHL deals are included in the rankings. We’ve also excluded goaltenders from the rankings. Both prospects on AHL/ECHL contracts as well as the goaltenders in the pipeline will be discussed throughout the next month, just not as part of the actual rankings themselves.
John Fusco
RD | 5’11 | 181 lbs | Shoots: R | Harvard (ECAC) | Acquired: 2020 7th Round, 189th Overall
Despite being 21 years old and entering his DY+4 season in 2022-23, John Fusco has played a minimal amount of hockey at a high level.
When he was drafted as an overage prospect in 2020, Fusco was still playing in the United States High School Prep system with Dexte …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Mailbag: Answering all of your prospect questions heading into the draft

It’s prospect mailbag time, folks!
Over the past couple of days, we compiled questions on Twitter regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs prospect pool, from the Marlies to the Growlers and those outside of the system, as well as some on tomorrow’s NHL Entry Draft.
After Nick Richard and I (Kyle Cushman) teamed up for the last prospect mailbag, Jon Steitzer and Nick Barden are joining us for this one. There’s plenty to get to, so let’s dive right into things.
2022 NHL Entry Draft
Assuming Toronto takes the highest-ranked player available at 25, does that prospect instantly become the top prospect in the organization? (@Matt06121981)
KC: I don’t think so. The advanced timelines for the top three prospects currently in the system (Knies, Robertson, and Niemela) and the quality seasons they had likely mean whoever the Leafs pick will slot in as the organization’s #4 prospect to start, at least for me.
JS: If we’re going off of Craig Button’s list and Toronto magically ends up with Frank Nazar, then yes. He’s the top prospect in the organization. Otherwise, the player that comes in at the 25th spot has a good chance to earn that spot over the course of the next season but is unlikely to be a surefire top organizational prospect. The Leafs have done well enough without 1st round picks to make it an automatic thing.
NB: I’m going to say no. …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation